Merced Dog Bite Lawyer


For many people, dogs are trusted friends and companions. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, around 36 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet dog. California is the state with the second-highest number of pet dogs after Texas. Most dog owners consider their pets part of their family. Still, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that dog ownership can have several significant health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and more exercise opportunities.

Although dogs are usually not dangerous and can even protect their owners in certain situations, the sad truth is that dogs do occasionally bite. CDC data shows that around 4.5 million dog bite incidents happen in the U.S. every year. Many of these attacks don’t leave people with severe injuries, and individuals can recover quickly. However, dog bite accidents also often leave people with severe trauma that can be both difficult and expensive to recover from. Many dog bite survivors are left with chronic medical conditions that drastically affect their lives. In the most extreme cases, dog bites can even cause fatal injuries.

Dog Bite Data
  • About 1,000 people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for daily dog bite injuries.
  • Nearly 92 percent of fatal dog bites involve male dogs.
  • About 25 percent of fatal dog attacks involve a restrained dog.
  • U.S. insurers pay out over one billion dollars for dog bites every year.
  • Nearly one-third of severe dog bites occur near the injured person’s residence.
  • Most the people bit by dogs are familiar with the attacking dog.
  • About 75 percent of dog bites affect extremities such as arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Who is at Risk?

Anybody can potentially be attacked by a dog. However, children are especially vulnerable and often receive serious injuries during dog attacks. The CDC reports that more than 80 percent of people treated in emergency rooms for dog bite injuries are children under 15. The CDC also reports that around half of children younger than 12 years old have been bitten by a dog, and unsupervised infants are around 300 times more likely to be fatally hurt in a dog bite incident than an adult.

The reasons why children are more at risk than adults are various. One reason is that children are simply smaller, meaning they are less able to defend themselves and more likely to be seriously hurt by a bite. Another reason is that children are less likely to realize when a dog may be upset or dangerous. In fact, many attacks occur when children try to play with a dog and provoke it unknowingly.

Dangerous Dog Breeds

While every dog can bite, no matter how well-trained and friendly, some breeds are generally considered more dangerous than others. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many dogs on the list of dangerous breeds and can say that these dogs are often friendly and would most likely never become aggressive. However, after over three decades of representing people in California dog bite cases, I have seen many instances of dogs from dangerous breeds biting with hardly any warning. While you should remember that all dogs are potentially dangerous, knowing which breeds most often cause injuries is essential.

Breeds that most often bite include:

  • German Shepherd
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Pit Bull
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
Preventing Dog Bites

Watch YouTube Video: How to prevent dog bites? If you’d like to learn some helpful ways to avoid dog bites and suffering injuries, you can watch this informative video:

Taking Quick Action

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in California, the law is likely on your side. California law provides that the owners of dogs have strict liability for the injuries their pets cause. Under these strict liability laws, injured parties do not need to establish negligence. This is different from most cases of personal injury and is a big help to people with dog bite claims.

However, having a lawyer on your side as soon as possible can also significantly help with getting the repayments that you deserve for the injuries you or your loved ones have suffered. A lawyer with experience handling dog bite cases will be able to take care of the details of your case, allowing you to focus on recovery. Additionally, a good dog bite lawyer will know all the types of recompense you are eligible to claim and will be able to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Choosing an Attorney

While dealing with the recovery process, completing even simple daily tasks like getting your kids to school, doing housework, or cooking can be challenging. On top of all this, those recovering from dog bites often need to spend time in physical therapy sessions. Managing your recovery process and looking for the right lawyer at the same time can feel overwhelming.

An excellent first step in finding the right lawyer to represent you is making sure that your attorney has extensive experience in handling California dog bite cases. An experienced lawyer will understand how best to investigate, prepare, prove, and argue your case. Another essential thing to consider is whether or not you are personally comfortable with your lawyer. If you don’t feel like you can communicate well with your attorney, it may lead to difficulties later on. I encourage you to keep reading about my firm here on my website to learn more about my practice. If you’d like to speak with me for free advice about your case, you can call (209) 227-1931 and ask to talk with Ed Smith.

What Losses Can I Be Compensated For?

Many people don’t realize just how serious dog bites can be. Many dogs can naturally tear flesh with their teeth and have strong chest and jaw muscles that can cause major injuries. Some severe injuries that dog bite survivors suffer include nerve damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, disfigurement, scarring, amputation injuries, and more. Even a tiny dog bite has the potential to cause a possibly fatal infection.

Because of the severity of these injuries, those bitten by dogs can often claim payments for a wide variety of losses. Recoverable dog bite damages include:

  • Lost income
  • Loss of income potential
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
Dog Bite Lawyers in Merced, CA

If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries as a result, call our experienced Merced Dog Bite Lawyers for free, friendly advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

We take client cases on a contingency basis. If we take your case, you don’t need to pay any upfront money. You will only pay us if we can obtain you the financial recovery that you rightly deserve.

If you want to know more about how we’ve been able to help our previous clients, you don’t have to just take our word for it. You can read our client reviews on GoogleYelp, and Avvo.

To get even more details about my history of success, check out our firm’s extensive Verdicts and Settlements webpage.

We are a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top One Percent.

Photo: "rottweiler running" by pohjakroon on cco-pixabay

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.16.22]

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Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.